Tennis: Sela through to round 2 in Miami

Israeli to face world number 12 Fernando Verdasco in second round of Sony Ericsson Open.

Dudi Sela. (photo credit: Associated Press)
Dudi Sela.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Dudi Sela will face world number 12 Fernando Verdasco in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami after defeating Evgeny Korolev 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.
The Israeli is in desperate need of a good run of results after dropping down the rankings in recent months, but he will have to record one of the biggest victories of his career if he’s to reach the third round in Florida. Shahar Pe’er received a bye into the second round of the women’s tournament in Miami and will play over the weekened.
Meanwhile, world No. 1 Serena Williams won the 2009 WTA Tour Player of the Year award and also took the Doubles Team of the year honors with sister Venus at a ceremony held at the Sony Ericsson Open on Wednesday.
Serena Williams, wearing high heels despite a knee injury, was all smiles when picking up her award. She won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2009, was a semifinalist at the US Open and a quarterfinalist at the French Open.
The Williams sisters won the 2009 Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open doubles titles as well as the doubles crown at Stanford.
“It’s exciting because I don’t think we’ve won the Doubles Team of the Year award before,” Serena Williams told The Associated Press. “I won the daily double today and that was cool.”
US Open champion Kim Clijsters captured the Comeback Player of the Year and Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award. This marked the seventh time in Clijsters career she won the sportsmanship award.
American teen Melanie Oudin, who had a breakthrough 2009 season inreaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the USOpen, was honored as the Newcomer of the Year. Yanina Wickmayer ofBelgium, who broke into the top 20 last year, won the Most ImprovedPlayer award.
Naturalized American Liezel Huber won The PlayerService Award for the fourth time in her career. Among the causesHuber’s raised money for are Hurricane Katrina victims and “Locks ofLove,” a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financiallydisadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss.
Russian Elena Dementieva was voted as the Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year by fans online.